• Issue #31

Institutional Trust: More important than ever

A robot University President smiles at commencement. But why?

As the adoption of large language models like ChatGPT, BARD, and Jasper becomes more widespread in Higher Ed MarComm offices across the country, it’s more important than ever that we remember to ask ourselves this question:

Can students trust us?

They need to trust that we’ll:

  1. Be transparent about who they’re communicating with. If students ask a question on an institutional website, it must be immediately apparent whether there’s a human on the other end. There can be no trust without transparency about the interaction.
  2. Continue to prioritize the human touch whenever possible. Scheduling an on-campus visit or phone call with admissions? Sure, a chatbot could help with that. But anything related to the core aspects of on-campus life and community needs to be presented by a staff member or student ambassador.
  3. Provide them with a website experience that is accessible, understandable, and navigable. Can they find what they’re looking for? Can they access it if they have to rely on outside wifi? Does the journey to pertinent information follow a logical path?

This industry is no stranger to trust issues, and as AI usage becomes more ingrained in our day-to-day lives, we can’t forget that.

- Joel Goodman